Best Post-Shark Attack Interview Ever!

"It came straight out of the depths and got him!" says witness…

Just last weekend, a surfer in Northern California was dive-bombed by a Great White. It ain’t no big deal in those parts. It’s as much a part of surfing as sunburn and fin-chops from thrown away SUPs are on Australia’s Gold Coast.

And, as the writer Lewis Samuels told BeachGrit, surfers there take comfort in the fact that great whites in northern California are different to the more energetic South African and Australian breed. In that, they have a different hunting pattern. They might bite but they’ll let go after the initial bleed and wait for you to bleed out instead of taking you down straight away.

And it’s exactly what happened last Sunday! The surfer, 50-year-old Kevin Swanson, was surfing Sand Spit at Montana de Oro State Park near Morro Bay when a Great White had a swing, a bite, and split.

The surfer, reportedly some kind of commando, applied his own tourniquet while paddling for shore and, on the beach, his surf pal, New Zealander Andrew Walsh, calmly recounted the attack.

Such calm after the ambush of a magnificent prehistoric animal! Click!

Beach Grit t-shirts
Thirty five American shekels for these non-slutty tees delivered anywhere in the world!

Sale! For the highest type of sexual identities!

Two BeachGrit tees sent anywhere in the world for $35!

All those post-Christmas sales? It would be highly criminal if BeachGrit didn’t play the game. And, therefore, for maybe a week or something, $US35 will get you two BeachGrit tees (the new Ultra Hard Surf Candy and the old Better than Coke etc, prints by Paul McNeil) that’ve been shorn of sleeves therefore amplifying your super-masculinity or ultra-femininity.

The cut reveals enough skin for gals to be “sexy” but not so much as to appear “slutty” or “whorish”. For men, it shows the curve of the upper pectoral and any protrusion of the latissimus dorsi.

The tees are made with one hundred per cent cotton (natch) and of the slimmest cut. It ain’t short in length, either, so cut it (raw edge!) if that’s your thing.

Shipping? Forget about it! It’s on BeachGrit! Anywhere in the world! Even to to the brand new Islamic State!

Click here! (Buy one and the other will automatically follow! And email [email protected] to confirm your address.)

Drugs and Surfing! Sex and Surfing! Violence too…

What you creeps and dipsomaniacs searched for in 2014… 

It is impossible to praise Matt Warshaw too highly. If you care about at all about surfers who have blood in their veins, it is imperative that you attend his website Encyclopedia of Surfing. (Click to jump into his tub!) It’s the history of surfing but contained on an electronic page.

Just now, Matt posted the most-searched items from the site. And wouldn’t y’know it! You’re a pack of creeps and dipsomaniacs!

“Trying to figure out why these two pages came out on top this year, and all I can come up with is that with alcohol and surfing, as well as drugs and surfing, you get both comedy and tragedy,” write Matt. “The Stone Steps contest, for example, as seen in the black and white photo above. That was a sloppy, stupid, incredibly fun event. Buckets of beer drained before each heat. Silly trophies. Nude dancing on the beach afterwards. And star power: that’s Butch van Artsdalen up there on the far right, in the early ’70s, getting his neck around 48 fluid ounces of Miller Lite before paddling out to win the event. On the other hand, Butch drank himself to death in 1979. Same with drugs. Cuddling up your giant fluffy-friendly-green pot plants — funny. OD-ing alone in a Dallas hotel room — not funny.”

If you are nostalgic for surf history and want a website of structure and commitment then you can’t afford to do without it. An extraordinary achievement! Happy New Year to you!

Hypothetical: Bruce Irons on Death Row

Who doesn't have prison fanasties? Let's tap into the head of Kauai's Bruce Irons!

A favourite past-time of my childhood was to engage in Death Row fantasies. How would I handle the march to the Chair or to the gurney for the series of injections that would end my life?

What would my last meal consist of – would it be cheap calories (Bucket of original recipe KFC, peas with butter, two pints of mint and chocolate chip ice team, cherry Kool Aid) or organic and meditative (Kale chips, quinoa, beans)?

And given my squeamishness, what would be the crime that got me there in the first place?

All these things I’ve wondered and pondered. And I’m not the only one. In a series of interviews, BeachGrit has asked surfers of note to detail their Death Row decisions. Today, Kauai’s Bruce Irons.

What crime got y’here?

First-degree murder.

What would drive a man to such a malicious act? 

Maybe catching his wife cheatin’ on him. But, I couldn’t kill my baby’s momma. I mean, I’d sure wanna, but, murder, fuck, you’d be pretty damn mad with your wife’s lover. You’d chop em up, put em in some acid.

Y’gonna cannibalise the fool?
Would I eat him? I might as well, if you’re going to death row, I mean.

Did you enjoy the crime? 

Talking about it in the context of fantasy is one thing, but doing it is another. I’d wanna shoot myself after it, to clean that slate.

How’d you get caught? 

This is a fucking great topic. How’d I get caught? I wouldn’t. If you know you’re going to end up on death row, you’re fucked, so you might as well go on a killing spree, killing your estranged wife’s lover first. So you kill him, chop him up, pack up all your ammo and guns and go down the street and take the bank down, take down the squadron of police and go until you get killed so you don’t make it to death row. You go out in a blaze of glory, chopping down fucking everybody in your sight.

Let’s presume you don’t flame out and you get busted. Whom among your friends wilts? Who betrays you under police questioning? 

Y’know, a lot of people say they’re your “BOYS” but when push comes to shove, you’re lucky if you can count the fucking people on one hand who are solid.

What’s your method of execution? 

Electric chair, definitely. You might as well go out as a Hell Raiser.

Last phone call. 

Argh, my daughter. I’d tell her, Daddy’s gonna… daddy’s gonna (Bruce’s voice drops low, real low, emotional)… daddy’s gonna miss you, baby… 

Last conscious thought? 

What the fuck did I do?


The only regret would be that I wouldn’t be there for my daughter. That would suck and I’d deserve to go to hell.

Who’s in the audience? 

Well, since I killed my wife’s estranged lover, I’d let her be there to watch me. This is fucked up, isn’t it?

What do you wear? 

A priestly gown.

Who do you give your boards to?

I’ll fucking burn my boards with me.

Last dream session

Big Hanalei Bay. Me and no one else.

Last-minute apologies

I apologise to nobody.

Last-minute regrets? 

No apologies and no regrets.

Last-minute religion? 

Any conversions? No, but here I come Ronnie Boy. He’s my friend. He shot himself about a year ago. You know the Volcom movie, the guy with the panties on his head? Yeah, he killed himself. High-caliber rifle straight to the head. Over a FUCKING CUNT! Yeah, well, that’s what I’m talking about. But, he killed himself instead of the chick.

Last meal?

I’d like to go for some New Zealand lamb cutlets, lightly marinated, served medium.

How do you meet your end? With dignity or a screaming mess? 

There’s no getting out of it so you just gotta suck it up. Alright, here comes the next chapter.

Soundtrack to execution? 

(Bruce shows your reporter a 45-minute documentary on the making of the Pink Floyd album, Dark Side of the Moon on his new iPad.)

Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.

Last cigarette? 

Even though I don’t smoke, I’d lung that fucker in one hit.

Last words? 

Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.

Jack Robinson portrait
The signing of teen Jack Robinson is just one of the smart commercial decisions made by Billabong in the past two years. | Photo: Morgan Maassen

Opinion: To surf or not to surf

It's the most profound decision you'll ever have to make. It's life or death!

I am frothing. 

I pull up to the waist-high beach break with you and immediately jump out to grab my board. You say wait a minute it’s not so good because it’s small and the swell is not here yet and the wind has just come up. I say I see waist high A-frames with rampy peaks and blow-tail end sections. You do not go out. I definitely go out because I am frothing.

I am 12 years old and out of school for the summer. I am not doing Junior Lifeguards so I will not miss the best dawn patrol waves because I have to swim around a buoy or run on the sand. I am frothing.

I am 18 years old and I am going to college on the California coast (or University of Hawaii if I can get in). I will live in the Oceanside or Ocean Beach or Cayucos ghetto so I can be the first on it and check it after classes. I am frothing.

I am 24 years old and I turn down a good paying job inland because I will not commute away from the ocean. I make ends meet at a lower wage job but I surf every day before work. I am frothing.

I am 46 years old and I make about half the amount of money as other people my age. But I have twice the hair and I am healthy and fit because my work schedule is second to my surf schedule. I surf five to seven days a week before or after work. I am in the best shape of my life. I am frothing.

I am 65 years old and I am collecting social security. I surf every day because I never stopped and now I never have to because I have saved some money to go along with the retirement check. I am in the best shape of any senior citizen I know because I am in touch with the ocean every day. I am frothing.

I am frothing and you have decided not to paddle out.

I’ll text you to let you know how good it is and what you have been missing all this time…

… when I get out.